“If we are part of a movement then this movement has a lot of power right now [â€¦] This movement has a huge task in front of her: to rebrand God!” Addressing the challenges of contemporary Judaism, Yitz Jordan, an African-American convert and a member of Punk Jews, clearly marks an extreme position in a loose assemblage of social movements and cultural initiatives lumped together under the label “Jewish Revival.”
Notwithstanding this extreme expression, the transnational social field of Jewish revival encompasses a broad range of institutional modalities and individual practices across continents and communities: from Chabad’s global tactics of integration into new religious spaces, to local community-based activities, through alternative cultural initiatives that we can term “life-style Judaism.” Against a history of communal destruction and alongside demographic projections of assimilation, projects of revival have heralded since the 1990s the rebirth of Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe, Southern Europe and the US.
This mini-conference seeks to critically engage the concept of Jewish revival across time and scale by bringing together a wide range of scholars from diverse disciplines (including anthropology, sociology, history, literary studies and religious studies).
The conference is scheduled for June 5-6, 2013 and will run as a research workshop (papers will be circulated in advance). The conference will take place at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy, and is underwritten by the project ReligoWest (led by Prof. Olivier Roy).